Latest cost of living payments arrives – check if you qualify

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It is the third of up to three payments totalling up to £900 paid to eligible households on means-tested benefits over 2023/24 and comes as part of a support package that has been helping households since autumn 2021.

Payments will be made across the UK by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) between February 6 and 22.

Households receiving tax credits only will receive payments from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) between February 16 and 22.

The payments will be sent out automatically and recipients do not need to apply to receive them.

Mel Stride, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: “The economy has turned a corner, and with inflation falling we are providing millions of the most vulnerable households with another significant cash boost.”

Who receives the cost of living payment?

You may be entitled to up to 3 Cost of Living Payments of £301, £300 and £299 if you get any of the following benefits or tax credits on certain dates:

  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

The payment will be made separately from your benefit payments.

The UK Government said it will continue to support vulnerable people with the cost of living from April by uprating benefits in line with inflation by 6.7% and maintaining the triple lock and increasing the state pension by 8.5%, among other measures.

People can check the Help for Households website to see what cost-of-living schemes are available.

According to figures released by the Insolvency Service last week, the number of people needing breathing space from their debts jumped by 25% in 2023 compared with the previous year.

Across England and Wales, there were 88,390 registered breathing spaces in 2023, comprising 86,928 standard and 1,462 mental health breathing space registrations, the Insolvency Service said.

Mel Stride, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

(PA)

A standard breathing space is available to people with problem debt and gives legal protections from creditor action for up to 60 days.

A mental health crisis breathing space is available to someone who is receiving mental health crisis treatment.

It lasts as long as the person’s mental health crisis treatment, plus 30 days.

What to do if you haven’t received your cost of living payment:

If you were expecting one of the following Cost of Living Payments but have not received it, you can report it as missing here.

  • £301 paid between 25 April 2023 and 17 May 2023 for most people
  • £300 paid between 31 October and 19 November 2023 for most people
  • £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment paid between 20 June 2023 and 4 July 2023 for most people

Before reporting a missing payment, check your bank, building society or credit union account, or your Payment Exception Service voucher receipt. The payment will be made separately from your benefit.

What other winter benefits are there?

There are three key support schemes available to people as cold weather hits in the winter months:

Cold Weather Payments

A cold snap at the start of the year saw many postcodes qualify for the Cold Weather Payment. If you live in an area that has experienced seven or more days of temperatures at or below zero, you are eligible for £25 for every seven days of cold. In Scotland, this scheme was recently replaced with the Winter Heating Payment.

Warm Home Discount

If you are on a low-income and have high energy costs, you could get a one-off £150 payment to help with your bills. You will also qualify if you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit. The discount should be applied to your energy bills between October 2020 and March 2021. The scheme works slightly differently for Scottish applicants.

You should receive a letter in January 2022 if you might be eligible. If you do not, you should contact the DWP before 29 February 2022.

Winter Fuel Payment

You will automatically qualify for this if you are over the state pension age (66 years old) and live in the UK. The discount grants you between £250 and £600 to help pay your heating bills. You do not need to apply if you currently receive a state pension, or most other benefits. If you do not, you may need to apply.

The discount money should have automatically entered your account in October or November.

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Jose Reber

Jose Reber is a professional writer based in Wisconsin. He guides editorial teams consisting of writers across the US to help them become more skilled and diverse writers. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and children.

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